Red House Gardens
The Red House gardens are set out as an 1830s style pleasure ground, with mature trees and authentic varieties of plants and shrubs. There is a serpentine walk and a formal flower garden with decorative 'flower basket' beds and rose arch.
As a testament to the hard work and vision of Kirklees staff and volunteers, the garden won a gold award in the 2013 Yorkshire in Bloom competition, the first time it had been entered.
Take a virtual stroll by scrolling through the images, or click on any of them to see larger versions
The Gardens also contain a two storey barn. The first floor is used for meetings, activities and school visits. The ground floor is the location for 'The Secret's Out', an exhibition explaining Charlotte Bronte's connection with Red House and the Spen Valley, and her friendship with local women Mary Taylor and Ellen Nussey. Visitors can discover local people's reaction when they discovered that Charlotte Bronte had based some of the characters in her novel 'Shirley' on them, and how the three friends reacted to society's strict view of 'a woman's place'.
The other building on the site is the Red House Cartshed, home of the exhibition of local history 'Spen Valley Stories'. Visitors can relive the 20th century memories of local residents with schooldays, home life, Teddy Boys, dance marathons and street parties. The latest audio technology lets you listen in to their memories, and combined with pictures and mementoes, enables you to compare your own experiences with life in the valley. Refreshments are also available here.